My thoughts on Dating and Sex
About 18ish years ago a group of kids, myself included were given quite a descriptive demonstration of the effects of dating and sex on an unprepared soul. Our educator got two pieces of white paper (not very inclusive) and began to smear a white gluey substance on one of the sheets. He then began to rub the two sheets together, which I suppose is fitting considering the context.
After a short synopsis of the dangers of premarital sex he attempted to pull the two sheets apart, which obviously caused one sheet to rip convincingly on its side. He scanned the room, offering the ripped sheets to our varied vision almost to assure we were all harnessing an equal amount of shock and attention.
“You’re never the same again” he said
18 years later and I’ve mushed my own brand of sheets together and here we are. He was right, you’re not the same after, but he was also in my opinion wrong. We’re not a single sheet of paper either, if anything we’re an incredibly large wad of sheets of different shapes, sizes, thicknesses, tones, roughness and so on. When that sticky consensual glue sticks us to one another, we take a little of each other with us when we come apart.
Sex is everywhere and attached to so many things it’s become almost desensitising. On billboards selling provocatively, our TVs Getting it on, descriptively in books and especially at your regular bar probably covered in tattoos. It’s even suffocating our oceans… wait no that’s plastic.
It’s no surprise that sex is also in the swipes and likes we create on dating apps. With many taps and flicks of the finger consciously being made by sexy synapses firing off in our brains. Triggered by visible thighs almost too professionally framed by a tinder profile or the long figure towering over his peers. Momentarily causing you to ignore obvious red flags in the hopes that your gut urge to rub your skin against theirs is pure and true. Only that feeling is probably a little lower than your gut.
When dating and sex is sacred or forbidden
If I asked random women about their views on sex, it would most likely be met with pulled faces and uncomfortable avoidance. Like I let off a peculiar smell that they wanted to get away from but the lack of free seats on the carriage kept them bound to the uncomfortable aura left by my questioning. But maybe also because a lot of women aren’t raised with free and open views regarding sex like men are.
Rapper TI’s recent act of hymen policing his daughters is one extreme reason for this.
It’s common for parents and older siblings to wrap the idea of sex with disdain and secrecy when it comes to their kids or younger sisters. Like saying sex 3 times in front of a mirror would summon a fervent sex deviant. Even the idea of their son or daughter being on a dating app would probably fill a diligent parent with dread. Sex is a part of maturity that every individual must face. Should we be fastening horse blinkers over their curiosity or supporting a natural growth in human behaviour.
With dating, sex becomes a bit of a sandbox experience where the rules are determined by each individual’s influences. There are no parents or older siblings watching your every swipe or text, leaving you to explore your sexual curiosity and ideas or act according to the constraints created by your carers, religion or personal ethos.
So I asked a couple of individuals as to how they chose to navigate dating via apps or otherwise.
Me: “Why not just use Christian dating apps instead of bothering with the trudge of tinder or bumble.”
Her: “Hell no, I feel like the Christians on those apps are a little too militant for my liking, I want someone a bit easier going.”
Him: “the Christian dating apps suck, they’re better these days but just not as populated or easy to use as tinder or bumble. it’s like there’s only one type of person on them”
He pauses for a moment
Him: “Hinge is great though”
Me: “So if you matched with someone you were attracted to but they weren’t in line with your religion, what would you do”
Her: “I tend to put that as my deal-breaker, but it’s not like I’ve never tried being a little fast and loose with the boundaries. Sometimes you sorta tell yourself that it’s fine when it’s actually not if they’re hot or something”
Him: “Not bother, what’s the point?! It’s not what I’m looking for”
Me: “And what are your thoughts about sex?”
Her: “I’d rather wait”
Him: “I’d rather wait”
Me: “Cool, cool so you’re a virgin?”
They laugh nervously
Him: “Well no ha… things happened”
Me: “Oh!! So did your views change after having sex”
He scratches the back of his head like the answer was buried uncomfortably in the back of his head.
Him: “I felt pretty guilty afterwards but I’m kinda over beating myself up about it. If it happens again then it happens but in the long run I’d rather wait”
Her: “I’ve always sorta tried to do everything else but that. Like it’s not that I don’t want to but I’ve just always wanted to wait for the right time and person.”
Her: “I like to think I have a mixture of what most women think about before having sex, coupled with my religious views about it. Can I trust them, is it safe, and if I want to at all”
When dating and sex is just sex
Tinder is only for sex, a statement that sits quite well next to “the internet is for porn”. Neither is completely true yet not completely wrong. Our base instincts flourishing with the convenience that online dating provides, the basic need to bump uglies, come together and multiply, except we don’t multiply… or necessarily come together.
A tool that was originally designed to bring like-minded romantics together is instead used to mash inebriated privates together in less time than it takes to receive stuff from amazon.
Where sex is involved the veterans keep their expectations in check, you either contribute casually with no longing of commitment or stay away knowing that the non-commital are commonplace and the complication plenty. Not all parties are made aware that the exercise is of a casual nature and not all participants even qualify to participate. Hearts are broken like a bed of thin glass being humped on not to mention we are far too emotionally immature, anxious and self-absorbed a species for casual sex to always be harmless.
But hearts do heal, but you know what might not, burning infected genitals. Yep STDs, that Super Thick Dick may have a Sexual Transmitted Disease.
For those that prefer to cure their itch with the scratch of human connection, casual sex becomes awfully convenient. For some, it’s a release that causes less emotional turmoil than drinking your morning coffee from an unrecyclable plastic cup.
To some sex is just sex.
Me: Have you ever had a one night stand?
Her: Yes… though not intentionally, like I never mean it to be.
Me: ….wait… how do you mean?
Her: Well… it becomes a one night stand if the sex is shit.
The interview pauses for a minute or two as I get a laugh out.
Me: So when you consider having sex with the guy, you’re initial assumption is that this is going to be a thing?
Her: Well not always… if I’m attracted to them then naturally like anyone I want the sex. But if the sex sucks then well I no longer want the sex from that person.
Me: That actually makes perfect sense. I’m not sure it works that way for guys. So really your one night stands only happen if you decide the sex is shit or they don’t contact you again.
Her: Well… the latter hasn’t happened just yet.
I burst into laughter again as she brushed her shoulder off.
Dating and sex is important
Sex is super important, so important we shield it from those in our care or attempt to experience it with as many people as we can find.
We create or accept rules around the deed to suit our understanding of the world we revolve around, sometimes without considering other players rules and understanding.
We use it to absolve pain, to confirm trust, to create connection, to feel good, to feel bad and other amazing and also horrifying reasons.
We fail to see the red flags through the red hot attraction and we ignore them because of what we hope will come to pass. That maybe the intimacy from the sex and connection will cause the idea of looking for it elsewhere confusing and unfathomable.
Whether you decide to wait for that special moment or increase your body count like a rabbit with a Rambo headband it’s totally up to you. Just make sure your reason makes sense to you and you’re not following someone else’s.